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Who is Having Success With Influencer Marketing?

I'm the founder of a new prestige beauty/skincare brand hoping to make heavy use of influencer marketing and sampling to grow brand awareness/consumer trust.

Building strong relationships within the influencer community in my sector is my number one objective.

To that end:

  • Who has experience building such internal influencer programs?
  • Any learnings you can share?
  • What tools/strategies did you find useful or useless?
  • Effective techniques for getting your product noticed amidst a tidal wave of competing products and brands with far bigger budgets than my own?
  • Did you pay for content? If so, any difference in performance between paid and earned media?
  • What KPIs do you look for when assessing/ranking paid opportunities (we look at standard engagement metrics, anything else we should consider?)

Given that my product is not patentable, am I right to believe influencer relationships themselves are possibly my most valuable asset (brand + retail distribution channels in a close second)?

6 Replies

Roger Wu
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Roger Wu Entrepreneur
co-founder at cooperatize, native advertising platform
HI Pablo, We've built out a sponsored content marketplace (Cooperatize.com) that deals with sponsored content amongst influencers. The reason we built it was that building relationships with influencers is a long and hard road that may or may not yield fruit. We decided to turn everything into a transaction with guaranteed results. For us, the key is telling a good memorable story... we live in an age where we can buy anything from our pockets at any time so when you are ready to buy, how do you ensure that your product is in the consideration set? By having a story that I can remember so that Google (or Siri) can connect the final mile for me....
Julien Fruchier
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Julien Fruchier Entrepreneur
Founder at Republic of Change
@Paolo:

What do you consider "influencer marketing"? Consumers with lots of friends or bloggers, health professionals and other ambassador types? Each would be approached differently.

"am I right to believe influencer relationships themselves are possibly my most valuable asset (brand + retail distribution channels in a close second)?"

No. Your most valuable asset depends on your core competency or competitive advantage. It could be operational, financial, intellectual, hr or marketing-based.

Based on the brief info you've provided, let's assume it's marketing based. You would then need to look at which of the four basic "p's" - product, price, distribution and promotion you have a clear competitive advantage in. If you have pre-existing relationships with retail/salons then it might be distribution. If you have a product that addresses a need that is currently unfulfilled, it might be the product itself. If you have a unique pricing strategy or positioning, that might be it. But if you don't have a clear advantage on any of the above, then yes, it's promotion, which includes your influencer marketing strategy and everything else you do to create awareness, trial and sales.

I find it's instrumental to have a precise understanding of your competitive landscape (especially in such a crowded space) so that you can get a clear understanding of how to best position your product, which will then dictate the 4Ps.
Paolo Mentonelli
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Paolo Mentonelli Entrepreneur
Founder at BioRepublic Skincare
@julian Thanks for your thoughtful insight. Regarding four Ps, we do have a niche product and unique positioning/pricing. As a new brand, we are still building our distribution channel, this takes time but will become a competitive advantage in the future (hopefully). To answer your question regarding influencers, we are primarily targeting beauty bloggers and estheticians and, yes different strategy required for both. I guess what I'm getting at is the following: I believe influencer relationships can be a sustainable competitive advantage in the beauty space, more so because distribution, pricing, product, and positioning can be easily replicated by my competitors, particularly the bigger fmcg, beauty players. However content distribution channels/influencer relationships is offer a more level playing field. - Sent from Mailbox
Heidi Therese Dangelmaier
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disruptive category innovation for female + digital native market | new product + tech + brands + services + media
Hi.

I work with brand (mass and global) to invent market hits, or turnaround aging brand.

There is one thing that sells today, and creates sustainable which is the truth. Have you identified and satisfied a real market need? Why you, why you over your competition, the more you can make that obvious (even if the reason is aesthetic) the faster you will succeed.

People realize that influencers are being paid, as for stories - what drove advertising - are only valuable if they are grounded in reality.

I checked out your product and brand and if i was you I would make it more clear to what makes you clearly different before spending money on advertising. If your product is as great as it says than your site/messaging has to make that clearer..


Paolo Mentonelli
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Paolo Mentonelli Entrepreneur
Founder at BioRepublic Skincare
Totally agree Heidi, thanks for your input. We actually have not paid for any content. We believe in our product and it is a specific niche do we focus on simply getting it into people's (and bloggers) hands. Regarding our site, you're 100% correct. We are in the midst of a redesign to better showcase key benefits, points of differentiation, etc. - Sent from Mailbox
Joost Nauta
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Joost Nauta Entrepreneur
CEO at IMA - Influencer Marketing Agency
Hi Paolo,

I think we can help you get started thorugh IMA - Influencer Marketing Agency. Please check www.imagency.com or contact me direct. We have done 100+ successful Influencer Marketing campaigns and strategies for a variety of brands, so I'd be happy to share some of our case studies and learnings to get you started.

Cheers,

Joost
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